“All my work fits in my mouth,” Jo Carson says. “I write performance material no matter what else the pieces get called, and whether they are for my voice or other characters’ voices … they are first to be spoken aloud.” Following an oral tradition that has strong roots in her native Tennessee, the author of Teller Tales invites the reader to participate in events in a way that no conventional history book can.
Situated in a remote outpost in West Virginia at the turn of the last century, the story that Lenore McComas Coberly tells in Sarah's Girls is one of place, people, and unquenchable spirit. In this fictionalized account of her recent ancestors, Coberly masterfully traces the journeys of their lives, their dreams, and their hardships over the course of the twentieth century.
Loving Mountains, Loving Men is the first book-length treatment of a topic rarely discussed or examined: gay life in Appalachia. Appalachians are known for their love of place, yet many gays and lesbians from the mountains flee to urban areas. Jeff Mann tells the story of one who left and then returned, who insists on claiming and celebrating both regional and erotic identities.
The blossoming of Appalachian studies began some thirty years ago. Thousands of young people from the hills have since been made aware of their region's rich literary tradition through high school and college courses. An entire generation has discovered that their own landscapes, families, and communities had been truthfully portrayed by writers whose background was similar to their own.
Women’s studies unites with Appalachian studies in Beyond Hill and Hollow, the first book to focus exclusively on studies of Appalachia’s women. Featuring the work of historians, linguists, sociologists, performance artists, literary critics, theater scholars, and others, the collection portrays the diverse cultures of Appalachian women.
Opera houses were fixtures of Appalachian life from the end of the Civil War through the 1920s. The only book on opera houses that stresses their cultural context, Condee’s unique study will interest cultural geographers, scholars of Appalachian studies, and all those who appreciate the gaudy diversity of the American scene.
As a function of its corporate duties, the Consolidation Coal Company, one of the largest coal-mining operations in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century, had photographers take hundreds of pictures of nearly every facet of its operations. Whether for publicity images, safety procedures, or archival information, these photographs create a record that goes far beyond the purpose the company intended.
A groundbreaking approach to studying not only cultural linguistics but also the cultural heritage of a historic time and place in America. It gives witness to the issues of race and class inherent in the way we write, speak, and think.
Contemporaries were shocked when author Mary Noailles Murfree revealed she was a woman, but modern readers may be more surprised by her cogent discussion of community responses to unwanted development. Effie Waller Smith, an African American woman writing of her love for the Appalachian mountains, wove discussions of women's rights, racial tension, and cultural difference into her Appalachian poetry.
The death of her father begins Dorothy Weil’s search for what causes the family’s “spinning of in all directions like the pieces of Chaos.” She embarks on a river odyssey, traveling the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers by steamboat, towboat, and even an old-fashioned flatboat. The river brings her family back, as she records the stories of her fellow “river rats”: steamboat veterans, deckhands, captains, and cooks.
This oral history, based on interview transcripts, is the untold story of African American life in West Virginia, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman: Memphis Tennessee Garrison, an innovative teacher, administrative worker at US Steel, and vice president of the National Board of the NAACP at the height of the civil rights struggle.
Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state's historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.